How to Pack a Toddler Diaper Bag

When it comes to being prepared, I take pride in knowing that I usually am. At least with my child’s needs. Prepared for myself is a totally different story that we won’t get into. My son’s diaper bag has been packed and ready since before he was born. 19 months later, some of the items in his diaper bag have stayed the same but some have changed. Toddlers have different needs than newborns so their diaper bag needs to change as they grow. The things in my son’s diaper bag have been a saving grace more times than I can count. It’s always a good idea to keep 2 of everything important when it comes to children. One for the house. One for the diaper bag- which we usually keep in the car. I’m going to show you exactly the items we keep in our toddler’s diaper bag and the reasons behind them. It took me being in a situation where I needed some of these things to realize their importance.

First, what kind of diaper bag should I use?

We use a bookbag style diaper bag. It has lots of pockets and an insulated one on the side that is great for keeping bottles or bags of breastmilk hot or cold. I prefer a bookbag style because I usually have my hands full and this is great not to have to carry on your arm. It’s also great because it doesn’t look “purse-like” so dads won’t mind carrying it around.

1. Wipes

It originally had a wipe case with it but I hated to refill it constantly and it was just easier to pop in a container of wipes that had a flip-top lid.

2. Changing Pad

It also came with a changing pad. I highly recommend getting a changing pad even if your diaper bag doesn’t come with one. This thing has done more than just be a changing pad. It’s been put behind him in a high chair to help sit him forward more and used to sit on in a wet seat- specifically when he spills a drink in his car seat.

3. Diapers

This one is a given. Always keep quite a few in there.

4. Diaper Cream

Don’t be caught without this item either!

5. Snacks

My son is the ultimate snacker. He literally eats non-stop. If we are going to dinner then he will usually eat what I eat but if we are running errands or something, he’s going to need a snack at some point. I always keep a baby food container or pouch in there, as well as some finger snacks like gummies, raisins, or puffs.

6. Receiving Blanket

I know, I know most people stop using these past the infant stage but these things have been incredibly useful throughout toddlerhood too. I mentioned in my post “Surviving the Newborn Stage” about the many uses for receiving blankets for newborns but a few uses for them for toddlers are: serving as a light blanket. In a pinch, can be used as a bib, napkin, pillow, towel, and so much more. They’re pretty small so I always keep one in the diaper bag for whatever I may need it for.

7. Change of Clothes

It only took one poop explosion and one pantless car ride home for me to understand how important a change of clothes were. I miss the days of putting just a onesie in the diaper bag and that was the only clothing he needed. Side note- It also took one poop explosion to realize I also needed a change of clothes for myself so I keep them in my car.

8. Extra Sippy Cup

There’s been quite a few times where we’ve ran out of the house without his sippy cup. I’ve even had to stop and buy another one in the middle of whatever we were doing. Highly recommend keeping a back-up.

9. Skin care items

We keep a little clear bag in the front of the diaper bag with some travel sized items. Our bag includes baby shampoo/wash, lotion, a washcloth, face sunscreen, tummy ache tablets, a syringe, and infant’s Motrin. This bag is great in case something spills and it keeps everything organized. Just a few days ago, we went to a little creek area to sit and relax by the water. My son decided he wanted to play in the water and got his clothes completely wet. Thankfully, I had a change of clothes and these items (plus a gallon of water in my trunk- told you, prepared) so I was able to give him a mini shower before we headed home.

10. Medicine

It’s always a good idea to have some medicine in the event of a tummy ache or whatever the case may be.

11. Pacifier Wipes

My son doesn’t use a pacifier anymore but these are good for sippy cup spouts and dropped spoons if you can’t get to a sink.

12. Sanitizing Items

I always wipe down the high chair and table in front of him when we go out to eat with a sanitizing wipe and I religiously use hand sanitizer after touching anything questionable (I did this B.C., btw- Before Corona). He uses a children’s alcohol-free hand sanitizer often since toddlers like to put their hands in their mouth constantly.

13. Bug Spray

We live in the south and by water. Bug spray won’t prevent you from getting bit but it will help you get less bites. Bug spray isn’t really optional and you never want to be caught outside in the summer without it.

14. Thermometer

This isn’t as necessary but we had an extra one so it’s in there just for safe measures.

15. Hand and Face Wipes

You could get by with using regular baby wipes for this but these wipe away germs and they’re quite soft so I use them often.

16. Tissues for Yourself

Since the diaper bag can often double as your purse, keeping certain things for yourself in there is a good idea. Along with living in the south comes the devil himself in the form of pollen. It’s sneezing season here so pocket tissues can be found any and everywhere I am.

17. Sunscreen

I keep the face sunscreen in our little clear bag but I also keep a full body 50 SPF baby sunscreen in the diaper bag.

18. Toys

Last but not least, toys. Toys keep your little one entertained and can stop some tantrums. I always keep 2 toys incase he doesn’t want the first one- toddlers are picky sometimes.

There you have it, a full list of what I recommend to have in a toddler diaper bag. Hope it helps you like it has helped me. Leave a comment if there’s other things you keep in your toddler’s bag!

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